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Starting Right: Top 5 Power Tools

If you're a weekend warrior or you're just getting the construction bug, power tools will make your life (and your projects) much easier. I've compiled a list of my favorite "must have" power tools.

While your list may vary, due to your building needs, the follow 5 power tools have a place in any workshop and on any jobsite:

  1. Circular Saw: For cutting on the fly, a circular saw is vital. This saw goes everywhere and makes the final cuts on dimensional lumber. Not the best, however, for cutting sheet wood panels.  My personal favorite is the Dewalt Circular Saw.
  2. Cordless Drill: The corded variety also works well but a cordless drill goes with you, even where there is no electricity. Use it to insert and remove screws and drill small pilot holes or very large holes. My favorite cordless drill is made by Makita, but there are other good brands out there, too.
  3. Table Saw: You can start with a small table saw if you're only doing wood craft or small projects, but you'll eventually need a kick-ass table saw if you're planning a large remodel or an addition. Look for safety features and read online reviews before buying. For big projects, get a 12-inch saw for more cutting power.
  4. Orbital Sander: This small power tool will save your elbow if you have a lot of sanding to do. The best feature is its ability to sand in random patterns, which will help you avoid sanding marks. Right now I'm using a Dewalt Orbit Sander but in the past, I used a Milwaukee sander and it was pretty good.
  5. Compound Miter Saw:  I almost chose the jigsaw for 5th place but I really think the compound miter saw has a spot in the Top 5. While your table saw will cut large sheets of wood with ease, it cuts straight lines. A compound miter saw cuts angles. You'll use it for triming around windows, installing baseboard and fitting cove. I'm using a Hitachi that has given me five years of service and show no sign of slowing down. Love this saw!

There it is. The Top 5 Power Tools for any workshop. Do you have different favorites? What's your favorite tool manufacturer?

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